Saintonge 2021 World Cup | News + Results

John Doe Smith

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KANAL 3 SPORT

2021 World Cup developments

Mintorian victory over Shenghua, national team moving on to knockout stage

The Mintorian national football team celebrated as they to stay at the top of Group B after achieving a victory against the Shenghuese team, with a score of 3-1. Confidence was high as the team prepared to face off against Shenghua. The match was contested in the first half with both teams each hitting one goal. As the game went on however, the Mintorian team began to make strides after hitting their second goal. The team continued their performance in the final half of the game, leading to their convincing victory, and coming out on top of the group stage.

The team will be moving on to the knockout stage, where they will join 15 other teams from different countries who will be competing for a spot in the quarter-finals. They will have their match against Esthursia on 30 September, at the Parc de la Pointe Plaissante stadium in Plaisance.


Head coach making changes to team lineup in preparation for Round of 16

In anticipation for the upcoming game, the head coach Erich Kirchenschröder has made changes to the team’s lineup. Hans Gerber (#23) will be moved from forward position and placed as a left midfielder, in place of Sebastian Koch. Viktor Reichenbach (#45), Jakob Bachhuber (#31), Antoninus Bauer (#48), and Lukas Böttcher (#37) are being replaced with players who have yet to see action, including Maurice Enke (#69), who, at age 17, is the youngest member on the team.
 
Brackets is half time score:
Prydania - 2 ( 1 - 0 ) 0 - Makopa
Lanceria - 3 ( 2 - 0 ) 0 - Vallia
Mintoria - 1 ( 1 - 0 ) 0 - Esthursia
Saintonge - 5 ( 5 - 0 ) 0 - Iraelia
Predice - 2 (0 - 0) 0 - Lorbank
Tardine - 0 ( 0 - 0 ) 0 - Shenghua - Penalties - Tardine 2 - 3 Shenghua
Ulstome - 5 ( 0 - 0 ) 2 - Zhen
Syrixia - 0 ( 0 - 0 ) 2 - Skanda

Images will be made shortly
 
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Prydania

Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
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Tom Höyer Posts Second Clean Sheet in a Row, Harts Advance to Round of Eight
by Ketill Oien


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Prydanian Goaltender Tom Höyer during Prydania's 2-0 victory over Makopa

Saintes- Prydania has improved upon its showing in the 2019 World Cup, advancing beyond the round of sixteen with a 2-0 win over Makopa. The Harts led 1-0 after the first half thanks to a Peter Bach goal in the 37th minute following a pass by midfield anchor Kurt Mörch. Another goal from Bach, this time an assist from fellow striker Tjörvi Hagtvedt, added to the lead in the 62nd minute.

The 2-0 victory follows a 4-0 victory over Zhen in the final Group Stage game, giving Prydanian starting goaltender Tom Höyer his second straight clean sheet.

"It feels good anytime you get a shutout," Höyer said.
"Two in a row is even better. Two in a row in the World Cup is just the best. I can't describe it really, I'm just enjoying the moment."

Onto Lanceria
Next up for the Harts is Lanceria, a team that has pushed them in the past.

"We will have to play a very good game against Lanceria," team Captain Peter Bach said.
"We are a good matchup for them, so we will have to be focused."

Coach Jakob Höj confirmed that the same starting roster for the round sixteen game will start for the game against Lanceria.
"It's a matter of finding pieces that will give us the best chance in each game. This is the lineup we believe in for Lanceria."

Prydania's game against Lanceria kicks off on 5 October from Vantes.

OOC Note: Thank you to @Predice for finding the base image I used for the image of Tom Höyer
 
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RAP Sport

The Golden Eagles put up another convincing performance as injuries gnaw at squad

30.09.21
By: Federico Bernardeschi


RATTISBONNE -- The Golden Eagles have put up another great performance, however this one is with complications.

Another convincing performance
Though not the blowouts Predice has orchestrated before, it was a relatively simple 2-0 defeat of Lorbank. Rossi and Ancelotti scored, both hits coming in the second half. It was a clinical performance from the Golden Eagles, but they didn't quite demonstrate the flair they were capable of in the Group Stage.

Injury troubles
This game has left Predice's starting goalkeeper, Gianluca Bianchi suffering from a broken wrist, and Matteo Mancini suffering from a shoulder injury, ruling both out for the rest of the World Cup.
For Mancini especially it is a painful way to go, as this is the first World Cup he has ever managed to properly play in. He was seen fighting back the tears as he was subbed off. Gianluca Bianchi will be replaced by Gianleone Immobile in goal, and Mancini has Adriano Zacilano to replace him.
Following the match, Mancini told us: "This is very very tough for me personally, but I'm sure the Golden Eagles will prevail in the end."
Frederico Bastoni told us: "We will have to learn very quickly how not to rely on Mancini. It will be tough, but I believe we will be able to go on and make Predice proud."
Mancini has played for the Golden Eagles in every match, as has Gianluca Bianchi, it is to be seen how Predice does without them.
 
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Kyle

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L'Indépendant > Mercanti > Sports

The Reds bedevil the Lions in Beaune

by Gérard-Hugues Barbizet in Beaune
01 October 2021 - 0011h

BEAUNE – the Santonian National Football Team secured a quarterfinal berth after thrashing the Iraelian team, 5-0, at the Stade Beaunais, securing the win early at the first half of the game, thanks to a Matthieu-Donatien “Donut” Kerbriant hat-trick.

In front of a partisan crowd, the Red Devils came out on full attacking form right from the start, with Saintonge’s 3-4-3 formation morphing into their attacking 2-3-2-3 position. The pressure was too much on the Iraelian defence, and an unmarked Matthieu-Donatien Kerbriant slammed the ball into the net at the 8th minute.

Just five minutes later, the Santonians doubled down with a precise Kerbriant header as the Iraelian defence was being harried by the trio of Druron Dangereaux, Thorbjörn Kjellander, and Hugberg Steenstrup.

And then out of the midfield, Jonathan Jeandupeux rushed forward and smashed home with a crisp strike into the top corner at the 22nd minute, a goal that sent the Iraelian goalkeeper scratching his head at the dupes.

Ten minutes later, Kerbriant curled a free-kick around the wall, bringing the house down with a safe 4-0 Santonian lead. But that was not enough for Brice-Baudouin Schaerlaekens, who manoeuvred past two Iraelian defenders, made a feint to Dangereaux to confuse the Iraelians and instead passed to Kerbriant at the 40th minute. The marked Kerbriant deftly returned the ball to Schaerlaekens, who promptly lobbed the ball into the net.

With a 5-0 Santonian lead, the tempo slowed down and the atmosphere flattened in the second half, resembling more of a friendly game. But the Red Devils brooked no goals from the Iraelian side, with the tight Santonian defence repeatedly denying the Iraelian attacks. Stade Beaunais goalkeeper Folc Thauvin, who is playing in his home field, only had to do two saves to maintain a clean sheet for the game.

Saintonge will face Mintoria next, at the Stade de Bâle, on 5 October.

Santonian Team
Starters

GK 12 Folc Thauvin
RB 13 Joël-Gilbert Duranton
CB 14 Timothée Chiarisoli
LB 15 Brice-Maximin Grimont
RM 10 Brice-Baudouin Schaerlaekens
CM 8 Hugberg Steenstrup
CM 6 Thorbjörn Kjellander
LM 5 Jonathan Jeandupeux
RW 18 Matthieu-Donatien Kerbriant ↓52’
CF 11 Druron Dangereaux
LW 7 Kévin-Ardouin Cremillieux

Substitutions
RW 22 Benjamin-Timothée Röthlisberger ↑52’


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translation by Hunter Kidlington de Collobrières
01 October 2021 - 0925h


OOC Note: Post approved.
 
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Kyle

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L'Indépendant > Mercanti > Sports

Player Spotlight: Brice-Baudouin Schaerlaekens

by Adrienne-Marie d'Orves in Saintes
01 October 2021 - 1242h

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Name: Brice-Baudouin Schaerlaekens
Birthdate and birthplace: 21 October 2001, Escaudœuvres (Argens)
Team: Olympique Nyonnais
Position: Midfielder

“Schaerlaekens runs counter to the clichéd image of footballers,” wrote local newspaper la Croix du Sud in 2020, “instead he exudes the stereotype of southern boys and men: polite almost to the point of cringe, with a chivalric attitude that oddly fits with the modern times. And he’s nineteen.”

It should not surprising, as Schaerlaekens descended from petty nobility in the province of Artois, one of the few provinces that did not abolish its local nobility after the Santonian Revolution. “But we got no titles, and neither were we raised with all those fancy trappings of noble life,” Schaerlaekens related. “What we just got from it are pieces of land that my parents work on. I guess you can say we are just farmers? I’m just a farm boy after all.”

Brice-Baudouin Schaerlaekens was born in a farm in the southern Santonian village of Escaudœuvres, as the fifth in a brood of six. When Schaerlaekens was nine, his uncle Martin-Joris Scheenaerts, a scout for Olympique Nyonnais, recognised his nephew’s potential. Scheenaerts took him to the city of Nyon and put him in the youth academy of Olympique Nyonnais. For the first few years, Schaerlaekens shuttled back and forth between Nyon and Escaudœuvres, until moving permanently with his uncle’s family in Nyon for high school.

Affectionately known as “B.B.” by his family and teammates, this was all the more fitting as he was the “baby” of the Olympique Nyonnais team, being the youngest in the senior team. Schaerlaekens plays as a versatile midfielder, able to execute goals from his position in the field. In the game against Iraelia, Schaerlaekens charged forward against two Iraelian defenders to deliver the ball to the front and score. His southern attitude extends to the pitch: while he will not be averse to jousting and jostling with opponents, he does it with style and politeness, a contrast with the notoriously foul-mouthed Santonian team captain Timothée-Justin "T.J." Descoteaux. In one memorable game from last season, Schaerlaekens tussled over the ball with his off-pitch friend Hugberg Steenstrup of AJ St-Tobie de Coire; when the game ended, the two shook hands and exchanged a brotherly hug. The next day, Schaerlaekens’ Facegram and Twitcher accounts were filled with him being shown around by Steenstrup and the other Vicious Vikings around Coire.

“B.B. is friendly as f~ck,” commented his Olympique Nyonnais teammate Thierry Mouilleron. “I’m a southerner too, but B.B. is so polite even by southern standards, it makes me say f~ck.” Mouilleron, also a former Santonian international, had a warning though: “But don’t mess with B.B. on field – that noble boy will make you know your place as soon as possible.”

translation by Jérôme-Caden Barceloux Colcolough
01 October 2021 - 1655h

 

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Commanding Win Starts Lanceria On Right Path
by Marie Bannes
01-10-2021


Lancerians across the islands are in good spirits today after a decisive beginning to the knockout rounds of the World Cup. In the best of 16 round, Lanceria beat Vallia 3-0 to advance. You can read a detailed summary of the game from Pierre Transaix in our sports section here.

Goals came from Guerin Gaudreau, Pryor Duval, and Montague Dubois who each played a strong game and the shutout recorded by Georges Jaspris is his first on the World Cup stage. He continues to be favoured by head coach Royden Dupéré over Marsilius Bordeleau who many pegged to be the go-to starting goalie for this tournament. Something about his play has clearly swayed Dupéré's opinion and it seems to be working well for the Lancerian side so far as Jaspris has let in no more than one-goal per game so far this tournament, all exceptionally difficult saves. Dupéré seemed to confirm that the line-up will be very similar or identical for their next match saying of their play, "This is our best version. This is the team that gets it done." after the win.

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Montague Dubois watches his kick fly towards the net to give Lanceria a powerful 3-0 lead early in the 2nd half.

The Lancerian national team will next go head to head against Prydania, themselves off to a strong start. The 2-0 victory over Makopa sits hot on the heels of a 4-0 victory over Zhen in the last of the placing round. Both shutouts were posted by Prydanian goaltender Tom Höyer who said the following to RUV8.pr: "It feels good anytime you get a shutout. Two in a row is even better. Two in a row in the World Cup is just the best. I can't describe it really, I'm just enjoying the moment."

Lanceria faces Prydania at the Stade royal de Vantes in Vantes, Saintogne on Oct. 5th. You can watch the game live on RTN Bleu.

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World Cup Revealing Saint-Cyr Traffic Concerns
by Guy Cochet
02-10-2021


Though the stadiums hosting the World Cup are many kilometres away from the bustling city of Saint-Cyr, drivers in the city are certainly feeling the energy in the air, and frustration on the roads.

A variety of restaurants, bars, and other businesses have sought to capitalize on the World Cup fever, hosting the games on big screens, projected in public places, and more crowd-drawing events. Famous restaurant destination Rue Bardennes has been designated a pedestrian street for the duration of the cup closing an avenue through downtown Saint-Cyr in addition to the road work being conducted on Rue Harlon nearby to support the new metro line. This has resulted in big evening traffic delays as a whole separate commute to these watch parties commences after the regular work day. Problems in Saint-Cyr have been noted by public officials in recent years with former Mayor Yves Martin stating in 2018 that "a significant investment of time, resources, and funding must be put into considering the future of Saint-Cyr's traffic infrastructure." when announcing the Trilliane Line project. Hopes are high that the new transit line will help alleviate traffic concerns on Rue Harlon as a central thoroughfare to the city.


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Heavy congestion in downtown Saint-Cyr during their 3-0 win over Vallia to open the knockout rounds.



Transit representative Joshua Nomlaine announced today that "the metro investments being conducted in downtown Saint-Cyr right now are targeted at exactly this kind of congestion. As a more immediate response, the city has decided to make public transportation free for a few hours before, during, and a few hours after each matchday for this World Cup to give citizens of Saint-Cyr a greener, quicker alternative to get to their favourite game watching destinations." Critics are saying that isn't enough, suggesting that additional busses and drivers should have been scheduled in advance as soon as the schedule for the World Cup was released. An reader who wished to remain anonymous stated that her husband had nearly died en-route to hospital as a result of traffic delays trying to get there from their home on gameday.

In any event, if you're planning on driving through the city on October 5th during Lanceria's next match against Prydania, it would be best to adjust your plans accordingly.


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John Doe Smith

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KANAL 3 SPORT

Mintoria scores victory in Round of 16, team expects tough match against Saintonge

The Mintorian football team achieves another victory against Esthursia with a simple score of 1-0. This match was particularly difficult, with some observers asserting that the team’s performance was considered to be subpar compared to how well they performed in the group stages. During an press conference, it was said that the match against the Esthursian team was a tough one. The head coach, Erich Kirchenschröder, stated: “The match we played was harder than we expected it to be, yes. However, I don’t believe that we did worse than in the group stages. What today showed was that the other team gave us a hard one, and that they were playing just as well as we were. I believe that we played a good game.”


The Mintorian team is expected to play against Saintonge, which is hosting this year’s World Cup, and whose team played well in the group stages and achieved a resounding victory against Iraelia in the Round of 16. When asked about whether the team would stand a chance against the Santonian team, Kirchenschröder commented: “I expect that we’ll be in for an even harder match, than the one we played, but I have faith in us, and all the work we put in. I believe that we’ll play a good game, whether we win or lose.” The match will take place on 5 October, at the Stad de Bâle stadium in Bâle.
 
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Kyle

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L'Indépendant > Mercanti > Sports

Matthieu-Donatien Kerbriant

by Adrienne-Marie d'Orves in Saintes
04 October 2021 - 1120h

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Name: Matthieu-Donatien Kerbriant
Birthdate and birthplace: 02 December 1997, Lanester (Rance)
Team: Saintes-Saints-Brice FC
Position: Forward

The Doughnut. He’s not a policeman, although Matthieu-Donatien Kerbriant wanted to be a police officer when he as a child, like his father. Until he got sidetracked by football.

A full-blooded Bethanian, Matthieu-Donatien Kerbriant went by many nicknames. “Donut”/”Doughnut” to his family, a shortening of his name Donatien. “Kerby” to his football friends at his boyhood club Paotred Dispount Lannarstêr. Arguably the sixth-tier Bethanian team’s most successful alumnus, Doughnut made it to the big leagues early, after being scouted during one of his high school games and making an impression through PD Lannarstêrs Viedéo teaching videos for football that featured Doughnut’s football skills. He joined the youth team of the formerly-exclusive Saintes-Saints-Brice FC when he was fifteen. The provincial boy had to move to the big city, a move vindicated when he was promoted to the senior team after he turned seventeen.

“My dad requested a transfer to the Saintes police so he can stay with me and support me,” Kerbriant said. “It was the ultimate sacrifice he had to make.” Shortly after Doughnut’s eighteenth birthday, his father Capitaine Marc-Broladre Kerbriant was killed in the line of duty, in a shootout in eastern Saintes against a group of Astragonese mafiamen.

It nearly shook Matthieu-Donatien’s career, as he blamed himself for his father’s move to Saintes. His mother and younger brother Matthias-Caël urged him to stay on. “They told me that my dad would’ve wanted me to carry on… that to stop now was to negate all the sacrifices he made for me and my career.”

Saintes-Saints-Brice FC let him go on a leave, which he used for his National Service. “I wanted to do something to honour my father.” Going back to Bethany, he did his National Service and graduated as a reservist in the Royal Santonian Police (Police royale saintongeaise, PRS).

After the National Service, he returned to SSBFC, where he helped the team do a three-peat of the Santonian Coupe des Ligues championship. This was noticed by the Coach Frédéric Janvion of les Diables Rouges, and he was called up for the 2019 World Cup in Goyanes. He was nicknamed “Thief” after one of the group games where he stealthily stole the ball from the opposing team. The team was knocked out in the Round of 16, but the now-“Doughnut Thief” continued to shine in both domestic and international football. His hat-trick for Saintonge against Iraelia was just an example of what the Doughnut Thief was capable of. Capitaine Kerbriant would’ve been so proud.

translation by Jérôme-Caden Barceloux Colcolough
04 October 2021 - 1632h

 

John Doe Smith

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KANAL 3 SPORT

Player spotlight: Maurice Enke

Birthplace: Baschleidenheim, Eissenland
Age: 17
Team: FV Rieselfeldstadt
Position: Forward


Maurice Enke was born on 30 April 2004, in the town of Baschleidenheim, to Alor and Ingrid Enke. He has brother and one sister, Georg and Christina, both of whom are you younger than him. His family moved to the nearby city of Rieselfeldstadt, where his father started his new profession. Before his football career, Enke was playing handball which he started at age five. In 2012, the Enke home was burned down, destroying most of his family’s property. He claims that this is where he got the motivation to give up handball and pursue a football career.

Enke started his career in FV Rieselfeldstadt youth team, which he has been a part of since age 9. He signed his first professional contract on February 2019, at age 15. Enke made his first debut for FV Rieselfeldstadt in a 2-1 win against VC Strevenberg during the 2019-2020 MZF season. He scored his first goal in a 1-0 win against Ridderkerk Eexterveld, and was awarded as a MVP at the end of the season.

This year’s World Cup will be an important moment for Enke, especially as this will the first time he has played internationally.

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"WE'RE OFF TO THE RACES"; NATIONAL TEAM SURVIVES PENALTIES; ADVANCES TO ROUND OF 8
Written by Zhang Guohua
2 October 2021


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MERCANTI / 鄍文

(XIANGGANG)
- People from all over the country are in the port city of Xianggang. And it's not only because of the typical tourism that occurs in this city - and that is saying a lot as Xianggang trumps the rest of the country in terms of tourists. However, this time, it's different. This time, it's because the National Team has survived Tardine in penalties - besting them 0(3)-0(2). Fans are excited as children are finally being exposed to this young team. And young is used very appropriately here; all students from Secondary School to University.

"My son plays on this team... I'm very proud of him" says Lu Qiong Qiong, mother of Lu Tanjun.

Speaking of Lu Tanjun, we were able to catch up with the current Class 9 student committed to Xingda University. We asked him how he felt about his team's chances. He smiled at all of us and said just five words - "We're off to the races".

And off to the races they are. When Tanjun was able to make the final goal in penalties, he took off sprinting down the sideline so nobody could catch him until he broke into a slide in front of the fans to the dogpile from his team. "It was a wonderful feeling. I can't believe we made it this far despite all of the odds against us... Our studies, our schooling... All to the side. Because all that matters is this championship opportunity we have now. Right now is all that we care about."

And the right now is the fact that Tanjun and the Sacred Flowers will be taking on Predice in the next round who soundly defeated their previous opponents. But, the young men are not intimidated - rather excited.

Zhang Guohua - Sports... Shenghua National News
 
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Predice

TNPer
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Prydania 1:2 Lanceria
(1:2)

Ulstome 3:3 Skanda
(1:1)
(2:3 PEN)

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Saintonge 3:2 Mintoria
(3:1)

Predice 1:2 Shenghua
(1:1)

We apologise for the delay and any inconveniences caused. As such the next results will not be scorinated until October 13th.
Thank you for your understanding!​
 
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Kyle

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L'Indépendant > Mercanti > Sports

Red Devils nearly got the Mintorine treatment in Bâle

by Gérard-Hugues Barbizet in Bâle
06 October 2021 - 0025h

BÂLE – the Mintorian football team nearly knocked the Santonian team out of the running for the World Cup in the Quarterfinals game at the Stade de Bâle earlier today. The exciting game pushed the limits of how offensive-minded the Red Devils could be, as their depleted back rank exposed weaknesses once the opponents could reach it.

The game started off well for Saintonge, with the offensive 2-3-2-3 lineup producing one of the quickest goals in the tournament so far. Druron Dangereaux struck the crossbar 95 seconds in, putting Kévin-Ardouin Cremillieux in a prime position to head the ball home.

The Santonians continued piling up the pressure on the Mintorian defence, when Jonathan Jeandupeux and Thorbjörn Kjellander tag-teamed a hapless Mintorian defender to allow Hugberg Steenstrup to sneak the ball towards Dangereaux. Dangereaux converted Steenstrup’s crosser into a goal at the 17th minute, smashing the ball into the net beyond the outstretched hand of the Mintorian goalkeeper.

Cracks started to show in the Santonian side when the Mintorians seized the opportunity, playing for possession and seeking the best avenues for attack. Attacking fullback Timothée Chiarisoli had to move back to support goalkeeper Bruno-Patrice Cuisance; Steenstrup and Kjellander had to be withdrawn back to the midfield. The Santonians had a shock when Mintorian striker Maurice Enke suddenly slammed the ball past defender Albéric Barreau and Cuisance, netting the Mintorians a goal in the 30th minute.

Coach Frédéric Janvion shifted to a 4-4-2 position, substituting striker Matthieu-Donatien Kerbriant with defender Joël-Gilbert Duranton. But it meant that the Santonians’ attacking position was weaker, despite the presence of the fluid Chiarisoli, Kjellander, and Steenstrup. The Red Devils had difficulty procuring another goal as the Mintorians made their own substitutions. The four midfielders had to be creative in findings ways to bring the ball forward, but on the 40th minute, the right midfielder Brice-Baudouin Schaerlaekens and Steenstrup simply made the decision to make up for Kerbriant’s absence and drive the ball forward. Steenstrup confused the defenders as to whether he would strike with his left or right foot, but ultimately he deflected the ball to the right, right into the waiting Schaerlaekens, who finished with a forceful goal placed beyond the Mintorian goalkeeper. The first half ended with Saintonge ahead, 3-1.

Janvion tried to reform the Santonians into attacking mode again, bringing back a striker with Benjamin-Timothée Röthlisberger replacing defender Albéric Barreau. In ten minutes, the Mintorians found their attacking options open again as the depleted Santonian back rank started to crack under Mintorian pressure. Kjellander and Steenstrup found themselves doing defender duties, but it was not enough when Enke again found a space on the left and curled the ball into the net at the 68th minute, past a frustrated Cuisance.

Cuisance was replaced with Stade Beaunais goalkeeper Folc Thauvin, who worked with the tireless Brice-Maximin Grimont and the energetic Chiarisoli to deny the Mintorians from executing their dream of advancing to the next round. Thauvin had to do more saves in the next twenty minutes than Cuisance did in the previous seventy. The Santonian defence tightened in the last quarter, and despite superior Mintorian possession in the second half, they could no longer equalise and the game ended 3-2.

Santonian Team
Starters

GK 1 Bruno-Patrice Cuisance ↓69’
RB 2 Albéric Barreau ↓54’
CB 14 Timothée Chiarisoli
LB 15 Brice-Maximin Grimont
RM 5 Brice-Baudouin Schaerlaekens
CM 8 Hugberg Steenstrup
CM 6 Thorbjörn Kjellander
LM 5 Jonathan Jeandupeux
RW 18 Matthieu-Donatien Kerbriant ↓32’
CF 11 Druron Dangereaux
LW 7 Kévin-Ardouin Cremillieux

Substitutions
RB 13 Joël-Gilbert Duranton ↑32’
RW 22 Benjamin-Timothée Röthlisberger ↑54’
GK 12 Folc Thauvin ↑69’

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translation by Hunter Kidlington de Collobrières
06 October 2021 - 0802h


OOC Note: Post approved by @John Doe Smith . :)
 
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Kyle

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L'Indépendant > Mercanti > Sports

Player Spotlight: Folc Thauvin

by Adrienne-Marie d'Orves in Saintes
07 October 2021 - 1354h

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Name: Folc Thauvin
Birthdate and birthplace: 15 August 1997, Fours-des-Albains (Côle)
Team: Stade Beaunais FC
Position: Goalkeeper

“I wanted to play football instead of learning to drive the tractor,” Folc Thauvin said in an interview in 2019, just as Stade Beaunais promoted him to the senior team. “I suppose that made me the black sheep of my siblings.”

Folc Thauvin was born in the village of Fours-des-Albains, as the fourth of four children in a farming family. Being the only son, his father expected that he will be running their family farm one day. “I don’t hate farming,” he said, “but I wanted to do something else.”

The teenaged Folc used to cycle to the nearby town of Combertault to watch kids from the local youth club Combertault SC play football. They were familiar with the farm boy who just sat there watching. When he was fourteen, the coach of Combertault SC invited him to play with them. And that was where it all started.

Initially, he played as a defender for the team. Folc’s mother knew about it and kept it a secret. She even secretly laundered Folc’s football kits and hid his equipment under Folc’s bed. One of his older sisters was also in with the secret and made excuses for the days when Folc was not around.

During a Combertault SC match against the youth team of the larger Excideuil FC, Combertault SC’s goalkeeper called in sick. The coach put Folc in the goalkeeper position and he was responsible for a dozen saves, denying Excideuil FC a chance to score and forcing a draw. He was then trained as a goalkeeper. “I presume my goalkeeping skills were better than my defending skills.”

A few months later, his father found out what Folc was doing when he was absent on the farm. “My dad was real mad,” Folc said. “He thought that football was just this useless thing. He told me I’m never going anywhere with this stuff.” Combertault SC’s coach talked with Folc’s father, showing him that his son made it to the local newspapers for his excellent game against Excideuil FC. Folc’s father reluctantly supported the teenager’s dream, but made him promise that if ever he doesn’t make it, he would have to go back to the farm.

“I guess I won’t be coming back to the farm in the near term,” Folc said. “But my father also warmed up to the idea, seeing my success in it.” Folc was scouted by the youth team of Stade Beaunais, the nearest Première Ligue team, eventually rising to the senior team. He was one of the goalkeepers with the greatest number of clean sheets in the last Première Ligue season. His heroic saves in the quarterfinal game against Mintoria earned him the monikers "The Saviour" and "Savin' Thauvin".

As for his father, “My dad now fully supports me. And I have come around to the idea of going back to the farm too. I realised that my dad just wanted me to have something stable to come back to. Football is not forever – you can get injured, you get old, new better players come around. Our family farm, it will always be around. When I retire, I will go back to our farm. But that’s probably years away; and I will enjoy football for now.”

translation by Jérôme-Caden Barceloux Colcolough
07 October 2021 - 1700h

 
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Prydania

Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
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5 October 2021
10:17 pm
On a Tuesday
Vantes
, Saintonge

Tjörvi hugged Matthea in the semi-privacy of the tunnel that led to and from the field. Normally only players, coaches, officials, and stadium staff were allowed here but exceptions could be made for people who knew players.

"I'm so proud of you," Matthea said as she squeezed her boyfriend.

Tjörvi nodded as he hugged her back. The sting of defeat was still fresh. That he scored the only goal in the 2-1 loss didn't help, but Matthea's hugs did.

"Thank you," Tjörvi replied swaying with her a bit as they held each other.

"I mean it, ástvinur*," she said.
"You played your hardest. I couldn't be prouder of you."

Tjörvi smiled as they finally broke the hug.
"And thank you for hugging me when I'm stinky," he added, only to illicit a chuckle from his girlfriend.

"Well get showered then so I can hug you when you're nice and clean."

Tjörvi laughed softly, but Matthea's interest perked up.
"Who's that?" she asked.

Tjörvi looked up and saw Eyjólfur with a chestnut haired girl a bit closer to the entrance to the tunnel.

"Ohhh..." Tjörvi said softly.
"That might be the girl Eyjólfur was telling me about."

"The one he asked for Santonian lessons to talk to?" Matthea asked. Tjörvi nodded.
"That's really sweet," she added.

"Not as sweet as you are," Tjörvi replied with a grin. Matthea smiled and hugged him again.

"You're too cheesy. Now go shower."




"I thought you played well," Anne-Sophie said softly as she stood before a dejected Eyjólfur.

"We gave up two goals," Eyjólfur said softly.

"They weren't on your side," Anne-Sophie replied, trying to comfort him.

"It's a team effort," Eyjólfur said, shaking his head, only for Anne-Sophie to gently stop him by putting a finger up to stop the head shaking.

"It is, and your team played very well. Fourteen goals for, four against? That's very impressive," she said with a grin. Eyjólfur couldn't help but smile. Not because of the impressive stat line but because she knew football.

"That's one way to look at it," Eyjólfur chuckled.

"Well why be negative, when you can be positive?" Anne-Sophie asked with a smile.

Eyjólfur blushed. That had been a lesson he'd learnt over the weeks since arriving in Saintonge.

"You're right," he said softly as they took each others hands.

"So..." Anne-Sophie asked nervously.
"Will you be leaving soon?"

Eyjólfur smiled meekly. He had good news on that front, but it merely delayed the inevitable.
"The Prydanian Brotherhood back in Valence will throw us a dinner of sorts. And then we're going to stay for the rest of the tournament. You can come, to the dinner if you want."

"Won't it be a Prydanian-only event?" Anne-Sophie asked.

"No," Eyjólfur replied with a smile.
"It's a special dinner because they want to congratulate us on a good showing. I would really like it if you were there."

Anne-Sophie smiled. His blue puppy dog eyes were too much to deny. She nodded.
"Of course I will be there," she said as she leaned forward on her tiptoes to kiss him.

Eyjólfur kissed her back and they walked hand into hand down the passageway towards the locker rooms.

"So who will you root for, for the rest of the tournament?" Anne-Sophie asked.

"Saintonge, I think," Eyjólfur replied.

Anne-Sophie chuckled.
"You've grown some. Not letting social media trolls get to you?"

Eyjólfur blushed but smiled.
"Not anymore," he said with a grin.

"So Saintonge then, because the Red Devils have some Prydanian players?"

"More so because they're the team you want to win," Eyjólfur said.

Anne-Sophie smiled and hugged him. Deep down she knew that, at the end of the World Cup, he'd go back to Prydania. But she had a bit more time with him then she thought. And she would enjoy it.



*ástvinur- beloved
 
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Prydania

Það er alltaf sólríkt í Býkonsviði
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Hartbreak: Prydania Loses 2-1, Knocked Out as Lanceria Advances
by Ketill Oien

Saintes- Prydania's 2021 World Cup journey ends in the round of eight, falling to Lanceria 2-1. The closely contested game saw all of its scoring occur in the first half. Lanceria opened the scoring in the 24th minute after a protracted back and forth game.

Prydania equalized in the 31st minute with a goal by Tjörvi Hagtvedt, who converted a takeaway and pass from midfielder Toke Rognlien into a goal inside the box.

The game seemed to be headed towards half tied 1-1 but Lanceria scored in the 44th minute, going up 2-1 just as the half was drawing to a close. That put the pressure on the Harts to score in the second half, and a tight defensive game from Lanceria shut down the scoring for the next 45 and extra time.

Sting of Defeat

Lanceria is a team that has given the Prydanian national team fits. They handed the 2017 team that shocked the world their only defeat in the group stage of that tournament and proved to be tenacious challengers for the Harts in 2019. And once again they find themselves on top.

"There are a lot of things going through my mind right now," team Captain Peter Bach remarked after the loss.
"We have a young team, but a very talented team. This group of guys, we really clicked. We had a lot of fun playing together and it sucks. No two ways about it. It sucks. But we're going to be back."

"There's a lot of 'should of-would have' we could say, team Vice Captain Storm Bendixen said.
"I wish I could tell you all we know what happened. That it was just this or that small mistake, but we were beaten. It doesn't feel good, but that's what it is. We believe in this program, and I think we believe we can be world champions. That's what makes the loss so hard. But I'm also proud of every single player. We had a hell of a team and I think we proved a lot to a lot of people this time out."

An Unfortunate Point Spread

The Harts end their 2021 World Cup with an impressive fourteen goals for, and four against. The +10 differential comes off the back of two Tom Höyer shutouts.

"The stats are what they are," Coach Jakob Höj said.
"It's hard to say 'we could do better,' when you have a +10 goal differential. But you know what? Stats aren't everything. Two of those four against us paired up against one of those fourteen for us. That's a lose. Football is stats, it's heart. Our team had both. Sometimes it just doesn't fall your way, even when everything is where you want it to be."

When asked if adjustments should be made to counter Lanceria- a team whose specific strengths match up well against Prydania's- Coach Höj wouldn't commit.

"Football is a truly international game," he said.
"If we start building the program to beat one team we're likely to be beaten by any number of other teams. Our program and system is one I believe in, and I believe we can win with it. We didn't this year. It's disappointing. But we won't give up."

A Positive Reception

The reaction to Prydania's tournament has, despite the loss, been positive. Social media from Prydanians both home and abroad was full of support for the national team. Including a message from His Majesty, who is in Saintonge for the World Cup, staying with his cousins the Santonian Crown Princes.

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HH Tobias III Loðbrók @konungurprydansk 2d
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@PFS You made us all very proud, and you were a blast to watch. Get 'em in two years!
#ÁframPrydansk #Saintonge2021


2.5k Retwitches • 3.6k Likes

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The Prydanian team will remain in Saintonge for the remainder of the tournament. The final four will see Lanceria play Saintonge and Skanda play Shenghua.
 

Predice

TNPer
RAP Sport

Heartbreak and agony in Aubeterre as Quarterfinals prove Golden Eagles' limit again

05.10.21
By: Federico Bernardeschi



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The heartbroken Prediceans sank to the ground after the late Shenghuan goal ended the match

AUBETERRE -- Following a determined fight, a late stoppage time goal floundered the hopes of the Golden Eagles in Aubeterre.

Prematch
The Golden Eagles suffered from two notbale absences, as Gianluca Bianchi and Matteo Mancini were both out on injury, leaving Predice's top scorer at the World Cup, as well as the starting goalkeeper out of the squad. Nevertheless Frederico Bastoni and Michele Frezza told reporters at the prematch press conference, that the Golden Eagles were confident in their ability to win with Bastoni stating: "Obviously without our main striker it is going to be tough, but it is always tough, and I believe we will make it to the semifinal"

The match
The Golden Eagles did not start well, as Torrentino was sent off after just eight minutes of play, following a run in with a 14 year old Lu Tanju, as a collision which might not have been considered too serious with an adult footballer saw Tanju thrown to the ground, and Predice's vice captain receiving a straight red. This was met with whistles and and cries of "Ladies leave the pitch!" Nevertheless the match continued, and the Golden Eagles were left playing with ten men. In the 28th minute, Teng Zheng opened the scoring for Shenghua, as they pushed and prodded, and finally penetrated through the defence. Predice's response did not make anyone wait, however, as Giorgio Deschamps delivered the ball into the box after a strong counter, where Adriano Zacilano calmly and coldbloodedly stuck the ball in the top right corner in the 35th minute, a lifeline for Predice.
The situation did not change for the rest of the half, as the sides returned to the dressing rooms, with the scoreline being 1-1. Some substitutions were made, as Michele Frezza came out, handing his captain's armband over to Gianleone Immobile. Frezza was replaced by Vittorio Chiesa.
The second half saw Predice firmly on the defensive, with the only major attacks developing from counters. Neither side was able to score, and it seemed that the sides would go into extra time, but the ref then added seven minutes of stoppage time to the match. An outraged Immobile went to talk with the referee and was handed a yellow for dissent. It would be in the fifth minute of stoppage time that the Shenghuan striker scored the winner.
Following the final whistle, the heartbroken Golden Eagles sank to the ground, and the first tears began to flow.

Aftermath
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A crushed Tomasso Rossi following the match
History repeats itself as for a second World Cup in a row, the quarterfinals would be the Golden Eagles' limit, as yet again Predice went out in a dramatic and heartbreaking way. Following the match, a tearful Michele Frezza announced his international retirement, with Dominico Torrentino becoming Predice's permanent captain for the future.

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Gianleone Immobile and Vittorio Chiesa after the match

However perhaps the enduring image for most Prediceans from this World Cup will not be the winning captain lifting the trophy, but instead a teary eyed Gianleone Immobile embracing a gutted Dominico Torrentino
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Yrkidding

TNPer
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Anvene - A Proud Sponsor of the World Cup. - Paid Advertisement
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Lancerian Defense Shines In Advance to Semi-Final
by Marie Bannes
05-10-2021
Saintes, Saintogne


Celebration in the air as Lanceria advances another round in the CEFA World Cup, surpassing a strong Prydanian side on their way to a 2-1 victory and a place in the Final Four.

The game was close in score and close in play throughout. Youngster Alexandre Couturier scored in the 24th minute to give the Lancerian team a lead in the game and looking to hang on to it. The Prydanian side had a response, however, evening the game up in minute 31 with a goal by Tjörvi Hagtvedt. The game was hard fought, but an opportunity seized by all-star Mac Rebanac in the 44th minute put the Lancerians in the lead before the 2nd half.

It was here in the 2nd half of the game that Lanceria's impressive defensive corps proved themselves yet again, keeping the game tight, mistakes to a minimum, and most importantly holding on to the lead. They kept the rest of the game scoreless and brought the win home. In a post-game interview with MKN, Captain Florent Harland said "This is exactly the type of control we like to take in the critical portions of a game. To hold on to a slim lead against an impressive Prydanian team with a+9? +10 goal differential? That's no easy task and the boys rose to it. We played smart, we played tight, and I couldn't be any happier with our defensive play in the 2nd half today." Goaltender Georges Jaspris also proved himself yet again. The young goalie has had 1 shutout and hasn't let in any more than 1 goal in a game so far. His position feels secure at this point as Coach Royden Dupéré has continually picked him over intially expected starter Marsilius Bordeleau who let in 3 goals against Ulstome to open the tournament.


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Alexandre Couturier about to receive the pass for his 24th minute goal.



The Lancerian team has had a history of success against Prydania, winning significant games in the 2017 & 2019 World Cups but there is no such winning streak against Saintogne whom the Lancerians will be playing against next on Oct. 10th. Saintogne comes off a 3-2 win against Mintoria in a game that saw lots of action and goals from Kévin-Ardouin Cremillieux a mere 95 seconds into the game, Druron Dangereaux who assisted on the first goal, and Brice-Baudouin Schaerlaekens. Dangereaux will be a force to keep an eye on in their next match. In any event, the Saintogne team has proven themselves flexible & adaptable and it remains to be seen how they will respond to the defensive-minded Lancerian side.

Lanceria faces Saintogne at the Stade ducal de Pouilles in Côme, Saintogne on Oct. 10th. You can watch the game live on RTN Bleu.

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Water Main Break in Saint-Cyr Causes Flooding, Delays
 
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Yrkidding

TNPer
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Goaltender Georges Jaspris walked down the tunnel with the rest of the Lancerian team, sweating. It had been a difficult game. Prydania wasn't a team that you dismissed easily and while much of the team had congratulated him, and he was happy with his play, he had still let a tying goal in. Lanceria had a great defensive roster and when something got through even that, his job as the last line of defense was to stop that ball, to hold that lead. And he hadn't. It nagged at him a little. He was pulled from that thought when he almost bumped into someone else. He looked up to apologize, and there he was. Alfred Grenier.

He was an idol for Georges. You see Grenier was from the same town, and in the earliest days of his career had played for the same local club where Jaspris would get his start many years later. Even then, Georges knew that Grenier was going to be good. As a kid he ahd watched as many of his games there as he could and then, when Grenier was at the top his game playing for AS Saint-Cyr he had spent far too much time ignoring school work and instead studying videos like "Alfred Grenier's Best Saves of 2010." He had a hall-of-fame career and was a legend amongst Lancerian football goalies. Even in the Twilight of his career he had been selected as one of the goalies on the Lancerian roster and had stepped up despite questions about his age and abilities. He had a reputation of being calm and cool. Nothing ruffled his feathers.

Georges knew that the legend was watching. In the Vallia game, he'd seen him in a front row near the the Lancerian team and made eye-contact. He still credited the nod they exchanged with giving him that extra something to bring home the shutout there and while he hadn't directly seen him against Prydania, he was sure that somewhere out there Grenier was watching his every move.

"You played well out there." he said.
Georges froze for a second before finding himself, "Thanks, but I did get beat one too many times."
Grenier chuckled. "We all get beat sometimes, a shutout is never guaranteed. You played really well, I mean that. It's important to give yourself that credit. If you don't? It nags at you, it clouds you. It makes you wonder a thousand 'What ifs'. That'll affect your game. Don't let it."
Georges had been sure that Grenier was watching him, but to meet his idol and get praise & advice from him was almost too much. "Th-Thanks, I'll do my best to keep my cool." he stammered.
"Good man." Grenier clapped him on the back and began walking the other direction. Georges watched him go. "Oh, and Georges? Make sure you don't commit too much on the left. It won't make up for your off-hand."
Georges nodded and Grenier continued on his way.
 
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Yrkidding

TNPer
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Oct. 5th, 2021
Stade royal de Vantes
Vantes, Saintogne


Jacques was ecstatic. In a bright orange safety vest, he stood by the side of the field less than 20 metres from the Lancerian National football team. Les Chasseurs in the flesh.

Martine was standing next to him on his right and though she was excited, she also looked around nervously every now and again, fidgeting with ID lanyard. "Should we be so close?" she asked.
Jacques was immediately dismissive. "We're fine! I did things like this a few times to get into concerts back home. 'Act like you belong'! It's amazing where you can get with a safety vest and a ladder. Besides, this time we actually work for the groundskeeping team. We're basically legit."
"I guess." said Martine. They were members of the groundskeeping team, so their uniforms and IDs were all real. But if you looked closely you could see that they were assigned to Stade des Torsades des Pointes, in Torcy-le-Grand. Instead of there, they were at the Stade royal de Vantes standing on the sidelines watching the Lancerian and Prydanian sides play against each other in an intense and exciting match. It was their day off to be fair, but they had still semi-snuck into the stadium here, acting busy and 'rushing to touch up some lines before the game' to get down to the field with their equipment in hand and everything. Jacques had assured her the extra props would make them essentially invisible.

She looked up to see they were in minute 23 now and resolved herself to try and focus on the game. It was just in time, as shortly after there was a good drive, a nice pass, and Alexandre Couturier put the ball in the net!
Jacques exploded, shouting and hollering cheers. As Couturier jogged passed them towards the Lancerian team bench for some water Jacques caught his attention and shouted "Beauty goal! That's the tone to set!" He stuck his hand out for a high-five and as Couturier went to oblige him, Martine quickly stuck her hand out as well. The player high-fived them both and continued on his way. Jacques & Martine looked at each other wide-eyed and shared a moment of pure excitement.

"That was amazing! I high-fived him!" said Martine.
"I know!" replied Jacques, "That was fucking awesome! I told you this was all worth it."
They hugged and jumped and returned their attention to the game as it was about to resume. Martine looked towards the Lancerian team to watch Couturier jog back out to the team and did but also caught the eye of a security guard. Without thinking she reacted, awkwardly giving a wave and a half-smile before quickly looked back to the field and looking everywhere but where the guard had been. "Jacques!" she half-whispered.
"What?" he said.
"I made eye contact with a security guard by the team!"
"That's fine, Martine, just relax, watch the game. The key is to act like you have every right to be here. Just don't look nervous."
She still glanced quickly back at the guard who, though not looking right at her, had begun to turn as she looked away. Maybe he'd caught her looking. She hoped not. She looked up at the time again. Minute 31. Tjörvi Hagtvedt was looking dangerous. Jacques shouted as much to the defenders. Despite his 'expert guidance' the Prydanians scored to even it up.

Martine threw her hands out to either side with great force in protest and her right hand connected with something. Startled, she withdrew her hands and quickly looked to her right to see the same security guard clutching his nose. "Oh my goodness! I'm so sorry! Are you ok!?"
"I'm- fine." he replied. The guard was blushing, clearly embarrassed. "I was just-" he didn't finish his sentence before Jacques interrupted. "I think you're bleeding a bit there, friend."
The guard pulled away his hand to find it partially covered in blood.
Martine began to dig about her pockets, "Oh no! I'm sorry, here hang on." she found her travel pack of tissues. She went to pull a few out and then just handed him the whole thing. "Here, you might need these."
"Thank you." he said, applying a clump of tissues to his face. "It's just a nose-bleed, I think."
"I'm so so sorry, is there anything I can do? Maybe flag down one of the medics?" She began to look behind him towards the team and raise her hand.
"No! That's quite alright, no I promise I'm fine. I was just coming over here because- well I saw you looking earlier. I'm not good at this."
Martine was worried. They were busted, she knew it. She glanced at Jacques and could see his mind working. He was coming up with a plausible story, a reason, some way to get the away from the guard.
The guard spoke again first. "Maybe you could make it up to me over dinner?"
Martine was caught off-guard. "What?"
The guard was stammering "I just thought- maybe dinner would be- nevermind, I'll just-"
Jacques cut him off, a subtle smirk on his face. "This is perfect! Martine you were saying how much you wanted to go out for dinner tonight! Now we can join...?" Jacques looked at the guard expectantly.
"Thibault." the guard replied.
"With Thibault!" Jacques nudged Martine and nodded.
"Well- sure- yea- that would be nice." Martine smiled.
"Fantastic. I'll let you two work on the details here in a minute but first how could we be so rude. Thibault, I'm Jacques and this is my co-worker Martine. Tell us a moment about yourself! Have you worked security here long? Do you think you'll be working the semis? What about the finals? They'll be great games to watch with friends I bet!"
Martine understood. Jacques was looking for an easy way into the next rounds if they advanced. She was more than a little annoyed that she was once again going to put in the leg work to get them there but maybe dinner wouldn't be so bad. If for no other reason than to get away from Jacques for a minute. She giggled to herself as Jacques continued to pander to Thibault.
 
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Kyle

Keep pounding.
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L'Indépendant > Mercanti > Sports

Player Spotlight: Brice-Maximin Grimont

by Adrienne-Marie d'Orves in Saintes
10 October 2021 - 1324h

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Name: Brice-Maximin Grimont
Birthdate and birthplace: 14 August 1998, Saint-Thélo (Vôges)
Team: Odinspylique de Ratisbonne
Position: Defender

To those surprised by Brice-Maximin Grimont’s tireless defending skills, he chalks it up to his birthplace. “I’m a mountain boy. We used to play football up in the mountains, while tending to the sheep during days when we don’t have school.”

The thin, fresh mountain air and the higher elevation of the Vôges mountains “conditions the body to produce more hemoglobin,” said Odinspylique de Ratisbonne’s team physician, Dr Joseph-Armand Klinkert. “It’s not doping, but those training conditions are beneficial to a player.”

Brice-Maximin Grimont was born in the small town of Saint-Thélo to a Bavarois shepherd father and a Predicean immigrant mother. “People would call my mother a mail-order bride. But she truly loved my father.” Men working as shepherds, as with most agricultural occupations in Saintonge, have difficulty marrying because of the conditions of their occupation and living in rural areas. Thus, in the recent decades, it has become popular for Santonian men in need of wives to get the assistance of matchmaking services. Many of these services recruit women in poorer countries like Prydania and Predice, where the prospect of immigrating to a richer country like Saintonge was an added motivation.

“She came from this poor little mountain village in Trentigna,” Brice-Maximin said. “She could relate to the difficulties that my father had. My father treated her well, otherwise they wouldn’t have been together for almost thirty years now.” Brice-Maximin remarked that “people tend to demonise aspects of matchmaking services, but the reality is much more complex. My aunts, uncles, and cousins in Predice are much better off now. My father is happy that there is someone for him. And I wouldn’t be here without it.”

Brice-Maximin was raised not in Saint-Thélo, but in another parish called Hultehouse, even higher up in the mountains. When school is out, his father would take him and his brothers up the mountains to tend to their sheep. The three Grimont boys would then pass the time by playing football, sometimes having to chase the ball up and down the slopes. “In retrospect, it was great conditioning at an early age.”

Brice-Maximin played as a defender in his high school’s football team, where the small-town team from the mountains had a stellar storied season in Bavière’s high school football league. He was scouted by Odinspylique de Ratisbonne in his senior year and went to play for the team after his National Service. This is his first time playing for the World Cup, and he had already made an impression on observers. If the Red Devils’ opponents want to score, they need to get past Brice-Maximin first.

translation by Jérôme-Caden Barceloux Colcolough
10 October 2021 - 1733h

 
End of the Journey

He took his arms off from around his teammates, his heart pounding against his exhausted chest, as he began his long lone walk from the halfway line. The roar of Skanda’s supporters had filled the stadium with shouts of excitement and chants, but now as he placed down the ball on the penalty the spot the stadium now only knew the tension of silence. It was the last penalty, the last chance to keep the hopes and ambition of their team’s world cup dream alive. He looked up to size up the keeper who stood like a giant before him, it was only between them now, the keeper and himself, a mistake from either one would decide the way the penalties would go. He took several places back, looking up at the keeper the back to the ball then back up before he started his stride forward and hit the ball with all the energy he had left. The ball flew like a cannon ball through the air, and with all eyes placed upon it it would meet with despair as the keeper went the right way and at full stretch could not reach the ball to get a hand to send it round or away from the goal, however the ball smashed into the goal post and went away from the goal. Ulstome’s world cup hopes were over.

The Quarterfinals would see Ulstome face off against Skanda after their wins against Zhen and Syrixia respectively. Ulstome had been on excellent form throughout the tournament so far with clear wins in each an every one of their games so far, however what had many supporters concerned was the lack of a single clean sheet as despite winning every game their defense had failed to shut down their opposition enough to not concede at least one goal every game. Skanda despite their initial loss to Saintonge on the opening day of the world cup had regained their excellent form to come back and finish second in the group stages before then facing Syrixia. Both teams were playing well and would not be satisfied to end it all here. Both teams had a very similar playstyle as Skanda much like Ulstome played with a very aggressive offense focused style of play which with Ulstome’s defensive vulnerabilities could leave them vulnerable to be exploited and that could give Skanda the edge.

As the team line ups were announced it showed that Ulstome would once again be using the 3-4-1-2 formation that it had used against Zhen where it had achieved its confident victory into the quarterfinals. Hollerford remained excluded for the squad, a clear comment on how seriously his behaviour has been handled.

The game started very much how the pundits had commented before the game, the first 20 minutes of the game was an almost constant game of intensive press and counter press as possession was constantly turned over and then turned over again with neither team being able to successfully make a serious attempt to score. Ulstome would be the first to score. Iskan would cut out a pass between the Skandan players before quickly passing it wide to Opsal who ran with it down the left wing before crossing it into the box where Frederickson was waiting near the back post to head it home to put them ahead. Skanda would work hard to get an equalizer just before half time so that they would go into the second half with the scoreline 1 – 1. The start of the second half was dominated by Skanda as Ulstome struggled to maintain any serious amounts of possession and Skanda would go on to extend their lead by a goal at first and then by another to make the scoreline 3 – 1 in Skanda’s favour. It was looking bleak for Ulstome as the game passed the 80-minute mark, they were 2 goals down and were seriously struggling to stay in the game throughout the half. Ulstome’s hopes would fall onto Vaas, he would strike the ball from 30 yards out to close the gap between the two sides in the 86th minute. With one goal now being all that separated them Ulstome went forward with everything they had to try to stay in the game. 3 minutes of extra time would be awarded and as the seconds counted down it looked as if Skanda will win, however a last-minute corner would give Ulstome one last chance to keep their hopes alive. Taking the corner Ojlan sent the ball into the box with a lot of power behind it, it found the head of Vaas and was deflected into the goal in the last few seconds of the game to give Ulstome their equalizer to force the game into extra time with the scoreline now 3 – 3 at full time. Extra time was much less exciting than how the game had been throughout the first 90 minutes as the fatigue upon the players was plain to see. Passes were misplaced and the attempts lacked the danger that they had had before. Neither team had been able to score in extra time and it now was forced to go to penalties.

It was from the spot that Ulstome would see their undoing as they would go on to see themselves lose 2 – 3 on penalties. Frederickson would start it off well as he scored the teams first penalty of the shootout but Monkin and Ojlan who took the following two penalties both failed to convert them and now the situation looked dangerous. Monlerin would convert the teams 4th penalty to make it 2 penalties for Ulstome and 3 for Skanda. One penalty was left to take and it would determine as to if it would be here that Ulstome’s journeys ends or if the penalties continue. Stepping up as the 5th man, the teams top goalscorer and penalty taker, the captain, Eric Vaas stepped up to take the final penalty. He was the teams best penalty taker which was why he would take the last one but it would prove to be a disaster as he would smash it against the post to devastate Ulstome’s World Cup dreams.

Ulstome had been one of the more successful teams in terms of their goal scoring ability with 21 goals scored and 8 goals conceded with a goal difference of 13 goals over 5 games leading to an impressive showing with 4 wins and 1 loss during their journey.
 
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Andrenne

bastard
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The People’s Champion

The whole of Skanda was silent. Both home and abroad they watched with bated breath. Then, it bounced off the post. A disaster for Ulstome; a miracle for Skanda. They broke out into a roaring crowd. Skanda had, for the first time in quite a long time, made it to the semi-finals. They’d crushed one of their greatest rivals, Syrixia, before they could even get off the ground, and now they’d fought a hard-earned victory against a truly threatening team, Ulstome. They have a real chance at winning the world cup now. If they beat Shenghua, they could be up against either Lanceria or Saintonge. Both are incredibly strong Meterran teams that have dominated since the World Cup began. Skanda would be going into a match with either of them as a real underdog.

While the whole team is responsible for the victory, one would be amiss to not mention the valiant efforts of Ryuji Katsuragi. He’s been Skanda’s MVP, scoring nearly half of the goals Skanda has made in this tournament so far total. Katsuragi has been incredibly popular back home, and is known for his down to earth personality and humility. He constantly downplays his achievements as “just part of the game” and that he’s “just doing his job”. This hasn’t stopped people from hailing him as a celebrity, of course. He’s been popular even before the world cup, being one of the strongest forwards in the Skandan Football Association for nearly 7 years now. He normally plays for Koshihama, but his prominence on the national team this year has skyrocketed his popularity even further. There’s been masks made of his face— they’re a little creepy, but they’re got the spirit at least. He’s even appeared in a few commercials… kind of. Of course he’s not home in Skanda right now, so any commercials starring him have been mostly local and use the power of video editing to implant Katsuragi’s voice into the commercial. The SFA and Koshihama presumably haven’t taken kindly to using his likeness and voice in unsanctioned commercials and merchandise, but they’ve yet to sue anyone for it yet.

Here’s hoping Katsuragi can keep Skanda in the World Cup and out-score Shenghua. Though- regardless of whether Skanda wins or loses, there’ll be an Iterian going to the finals.
 

Kyle

Keep pounding.
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L'Indépendant > Mercanti > Sports

Saintonge destroys The Curses, goes to the finals after a decade of drought

by Gérard-Hugues Barbizet in Côme
13 October 2021 - 2333h

CÔME – The Red Devils destroyed two so-called “Curses” earlier today in the semifinal game in Côme against Lanceria.

First curse is that Saintonge will not reach the final and their previous World Cup win was just a fluke. Saintonge never went past the quarterfinals in the previous four World Cups and did so in just five out of the previous 37 editions of the World Cup.

The second curse is that the Red Devils do not do well in penalty shootouts in the World Cup. Their last penalty shootout, in the Round of 16 game against Syrixia in the 2019 World Cup, Saintonge fell 5:3.

In the semifinal game against their language relatives Lanceria, the game ended 0-0 even after extra time, setting up the scene for one of the most exciting penalty shootouts in this tourney.

Non-scoring but exciting game
Contrary to the stereotype of goalless games as being stale and boring, the Saintonge-Lanceria game was exciting, a roller-coaster ride, especially for the Santonian fans who packed the stadium to see whether their country will ever get to the Finals again.

Saintonge went out on attacking form, with a 2-3-2-3 formation, but the famed Lancerian defence coalesced into a tight wall that would not let the Red Devils bring the ball to the net. Jonathan Jeandupeaux, Brice-Baudouin Schaerlaekens, Hugberg Steenstrup, Thorbjörn Kjellander, Druron Dangereaux, Matthieu-Donatien Kerbriant, and Kévin-Ardouin Cremillieux tried almost every possible combination to get past the defence, but to no avail. Multiple times the Santonians came close to a goal, but it was nipped by the strong Lancerian defence led by Lancerian captain Florent Harland, or by the excellent Lancerian goalkeeper Georges Jaspris, who had frustrated Dangereaux many times. “Are you a psychic or what?” Dangereaux reportedly asked Jaspris in a post-match meeting. Even Santonian team captain Jeandupeaux complimented Jaspris. “What can I say, that’s some of the best saves I’ve ever seen… apart from Raggie’s [Thibault-Ragnar Guttormsen, Santonian goalkeeper] face.”

In the 37thminute, a Dangereaux hit went off the woodwork, rebounding to Kerbriant, who promptly turned it in, but the goal was disallowed as an offside. “It was an offside,” Kerbriant admitted in the post-match interview. “As much as it displeased the Santonians in the audience,” he said with a shrug, “the referee called it right. That’s why I didn’t contest the call, Jonathan did not contest the call.”

The Lancerians started showing their teeth in the middle of the first half. Now it was the turn of the Santonian defence to be tested. Timothée Chiarisoli had to return to the back rank to neutralise the dangerous Lancerian striker Alexandre Couturier. Goalkeeper Thibault-Ragnar Guttormsen had to work extra hard. His two saves fired up the stadium: a spectacular dive at the 27thminute, and another one at the 44thwherein his face was struck by the ball. “We use every part of our body to block the ball,” Guttormsen said jovially after the game, even though he suffered a burst lower lip. “I just happened to use my face.” The AJ St Tobie de Coire goalkeeper managed to maintain a clean sheet for the first half of the game.

In the second half, Coach Frédéric Janvion bolstered the Santonian back rank, switching to a 4-4-2 formation, which became a 5-3-2 multiple times whenever either Hugberg Steenstrup or Thorbjörn Kjellander had to assist in the Santonian defence. After a close call at the 68th minute, Coach Janvion replaced a tired Joël-Gilbert Duranton with Saintes-Saints-Brice FC defender Albéric Barreau on the right. Many of the Lancerian attacks came on the Santonian right, as Odinspylique de Ratisbonne defender Brice-Maximin Grimont kept it tight on the left, helped by the left midfielder team captain Jeandupeaux.

The remaining strikers Kerbriant and Cremillieux continued to find avenues for attack, but the solid Lancerian defence stymied them. The game ended goalless, setting the stage for the penalty shootouts.

Penalty shootouts
Lanceria came first, and Côme FC goalkeeper Bruno-Patrice Cuisance managed to save the opening penalty from Guerin Gaudreau. Dangereaux’ shot was then saved by the psychic Jaspris.

The second Lancerian shot from Mac Rabenac cleared Cuisance’s hand, putting pressure on Kévin-Ardouin Cremillieux. Cremillieux missed his shot, hitting the goalposts.

Cuisance dived to save the third Lancerian shot from Pryor Duval, and Tristan-Lambert Saint-Huile equalised the penalty score with a well-planned shot. The Lancerians then regained their lead when their fourth shot from Jules Roy bounced off Cuisance’s fingertips and into the net.

Steenstrup, amidst the supporting cheers of a Prydanian contingent in the audience, slammed the ball into the net in his shot, again equalising the score.

The last shots were done under immense pressure, with the Lancerian Antoine Lecavilleur missing his shot. And then Cédric-Axel Leblond, who supplied one of the penalty shots that went in during the 2019 game against Syrixia, delivered and won the penalty shootout for Saintonge.

Finals
Saintonge will be heading to the finals to face Skanda, which also finished off Shenghua on penalties. The record between Saintonge and Skanda is about even, although in this World Cup, the Red Devils defeated the Wayfinders in the opening game of the World Cup, 2-0. The Finals of the World Cup will be a rematch of the opening game.

Santonian Team
Starters

GK 23 Thibault-Ragnar Guttormsen ↓45’
RB 13 Joël-Gilbert Duranton ↓68’
CB 14 Timothée Chiarisoli
LB 15 Brice-Maximin Grimont
RM 10 Brice-Baudouin Schaerlaekens
CM 8 Hugberg Steenstrup
CM 6 Thorbjörn Kjellander
LM 5 Jonathan Jeandupeux
RW 18 Matthieu-Donatien Kerbriant
CF 11 Druron Dangereaux ↓46’
LW 7 Kévin-Ardouin Cremillieux

Substitutions
GK 1 Bruno-Patrice Cuisance ↑45’
CB 3 Charles-Adam Witz ↑46’
RB 2 Albéric Barreau ↑68’

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translation by Hunter Kidlington de Collobrières
14 October 2021 - 0202h


OOC Note: Post pre-reviewed with and approved by @Yrkidding :)
 
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Kyle

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L'Indépendant > Mercanti > Sports

Player Spotlight: Cédric-Axel Leblond

by Adrienne-Marie d'Orves in Saintes
17 October 2021 - 1126h

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Name: Cédric-Axel Leblond
Birthdate and birthplace: 10 December 1998, Saintes
Team: Haslantestone FC
Position: Forward

Perhaps Saintonge’s most famous footballing brothers, Cédric-Axel Leblond is the younger brother of Canute-André Leblond, striker for Côme FC. He supplied the critical penalty shot that sent Saintonge to the finals in this World Cup. It shouldn’t come as a surprise as the brothers have a football pedigree: their father is Christophe Leblond, a Saintonge international and former manager of Stade de Saintes FC; their mother is Agatha Lislegard, a former Prydanian international who defected from the Social Commonwealth government in 1992.

The three brothers were exposed to football at an early age; only their youngest brother, Charles-Aubin, did not go into professional football. One would think that there was intense sibling rivalry between the brothers. In the 2018-2019 season, the two played for different teams: Cédric-Axel for Stade de Saintes, Canute-André for Côme FC, both as strikers. Rumourmongers were even saying that since the younger Cédric-Axel was capped for les Diables Rouges while his brother was not, could have been feeding rivalry between the two. Speculation was also rife that the reason why Cédric-Axel moved to Ulstome to play for Haslantestone FC was to get away from rivalries. But were those true?

“Not one bit of those is true,” Cédric-Axel refuted. “My brother and I have a great relationship. Canute was my mentor, he played with me when I was a kid. He’s proud of my success.”

“I am proud of his success too,” Cédric-Axel added. “He’s now the best scorer in Côme FC. We joke that he’s a late bloomer, but I’m happy for him.”

How about his move to Ulstome? “They got me a better offer,” Cédric-Axel said. “I actually invited my brother over too, to see if he likes the country.”

“But to those wondering, I am Santonian all the way. My mother might be Prydanian, I might be playing in an Ulstome team, but I can never refuse the call of my country.” Cédric-Axel was called up to the Santonian National Football Team for the World Cup 2021. “It’s nice to be back playing in Saintonge again!”

translation by Jérôme-Caden Barceloux Colcolough
17 October 2021 - 1423h


OOC Note: Pending approval from @Prydania .
 
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Kyle

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L'Indépendant > Mercanti > Sports

Saintonge goes to the World Cup Finals!

by Gérard-Hugues Barbizet in Côme
17 October 2021 - 1536h

SAINTES – After a decade of drought, the Saintonge National Men’s Football team finally had another shot at winning the premier international football tournament, the World Cup, on no less than home soil. If Saintonge wins the finals, it will be the second time a row that the host nation won the World Cup, as Goyanes won the World Cup in its home soil in 2019.

History of Failure
Pundits think that Skanda is the underdog in the match, but the reality is far from different. Despite Saintonge being almost ten times the size of Skanda and the Iterian country reeling from decades of authoritarian governments, the record between Saintonge and Skanda is relatively even. In the 2019 World Cup, the two teams met in the group stage and it resulted in a mere draw.

The Red Devils are also not underestimating their Iterian opponent. “They’re dangerous,” said Red Devils captain Jonathan Jeandupeux, “the win in the opening game, could be just luck. We’ll try our hardest.”

Kendji Amano, a second-generation Skandan-Santonian playing as a midfielder for the Santonian Première Ligue team USL Novale, remarked that “Skandans are tenacious, pugnacious, persistent. We are a tough people. Just ask the Iraelians.”

In general, Saintonge had not fared well in international football competitions. Despite a huge and internationally popular football league that churns out talent and football being the most popular sport in Saintonge, the country had only won once. Which depending on how one looks at it, could be reflective of a history of failure, as Saintonge never went past the quarterfinals in the previous four World Cups and did so in just five out of the previous 37 editions of the World Cup. Or it could be an inspiration: “I take that as a challenge to double Saintonge’s World Cups,” said midfielder Thorbjörn Kjellander, “From one… to two.”

“But it won’t be easy,” commented fellow midfielder Hugberg Steenstrup. “It’s not a cakewalk. Just look at the opening game.”

Rematch
This World Cup is interesting in that the Final Game is a rematch of the Opener of the World Cup. Saintonge played Skanda in the first group stage game and although the Red Devils won 2-0, the Wayfinders gave them a lot of trouble.

“The entire first half was basically goalless,” said striker Tristan-Lambert Saint-Huile. “And they came dangerously close to scoring; [Bruno]-Patrice [Cuisance] had to do work hard and saved three.”

It was only after Coach Frédéric Janvion revamped the Santonian line did the prospects improve. The Santonian team scored with Saint-Huile, Kévin-Ardouin Cremillieux, and Matthieu-Donatien Kerbriant in front. The combination of the so-called “Ferocious Four” of midfielders Jeandupeaux, Steenstrup, Kjellander, and Brice-Baudouin Schaerlaekens was also the key in many of Saintonge’s games in this tournament, such as the one against the Suavidici, Iraelia, and Mintoria. It is expected that Coach Janvion will again deploy the Ferocious Four, but the AJ St-Tobie de Coire attacking midfielders Steenstrup and Kjellander said that “we won’t be predictable.”

Indeed, unpredictability and flexibility had been one of the greatest assets of the Red Devils in this tournament. Aside from Steenstrup and Kjellander, the energetic attacking fullback Timothée Chiarisoli and the indefatigable Brice-Maximin Grimont were this World Cup’s revelations in the Santonian back rank. “We call them our ‘Predicean wall’,” joked Kjellander.

The flexibility comes at a cost though: when pressure mounts on the Santonian back rank, such as in the semifinal against Lanceria, Chiarisoli had to go back the line and even the attacking midfielders become defending midfielders. To the captain Jeandupeux, it’s not a problem. “You gotta do what you gotta do. We don’t want our goalkeepers to work that hard. They’re the last line of defence. When the ball reaches them, it means there’s a problem in front.”

Chances are even
Despite the fact that Saintonge won against Skanda in the opening game, and that the euphoria is washing over the country like a tidal wave, bookies are not convinced. Bookies abroad (gambling is strictly regulated in Saintonge) put the odds of Saintonge winning at 1/1 to 6/7, with the moneyline odds being -110 to +105.

“Clearly we have our work cut out for us,” remarked Jeandupeux. “We will do our best.”

translation by Hunter Kidlington de Collobrières
17 October 2021 - 2015h

 

Yrkidding

TNPer
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Anvene - A Proud Sponsor of the World Cup. - Paid Advertisement
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Lanceria Loses in Thrilling CEFA World Cup Semi-Finals
by Marie Bannes
13-10-2021
Saintes, Saintonge


The closest of defeats put the Lancerian side out from contention to win the CEFA World Cup.

The match was a nail-biter with it remaining 0-0 through the first half with Florent Harland and the rest of the Lancerian defense shining in-front of goaltender Georges Jaspris who was equally in the zone. There was one moment when Lancerian collectively held its breath as Saintonge player Matthieu-Donatien Kerbriant put the ball in the net, beating Jaspris but the goal was found off-side and disallowed. Through the latter part of the first half Lanceria transitioned from defense to offense but it was Saintonge's defense's time in the limelight, beating off repeated attacks.

The second half was equally tight, with smart plays and few mistakes on both sides leading to the game remaining at 0-0 for regulation. The trend continued through extra time, setting the stage for a thrilling penalty shootout.


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Goaltender Georges Jaspris after stopping the first shot in the penalty shootout following a 0-0 score at the end of extra time.

The penalty shootout began with Guerin Gaudreau who failed to beat Côme FC goalkeeper Bruno-Patrice Cuisance. Feared Saintonge Druron Dangereaux was successfully stopped by Georges Jaspris. Mac Rebenac scored to give the Lancerians a 1-0 lead in the shootout. Kévin-Ardouin Cremillieux didn't make his shot, hitting a goalpost and bouncing it away. Pryor Duval was blocked by a beautiful save from Cuisance and Tristan-Lambert Saint-Huile evened up the score. Jules Roy took it back with a shot that narrowly scored but Steenstrup would match him to again even it up. The final two shots were from Antoine Lecavilleur who barely missed his shot and set the stage for Cédric-Axel Leblond, who took his place in World Cup history by beating Jaspris and winning the game for Saintonge.

The Lancerian squad will next play Shenghua for the Bronze who lost to Skanda also in penalty shootout. Lanceria faces Shenghua at the Stade des Princes in Nyon, Saintonge on Oct. 17th. You can watch the game live on RTN Bleu.
 
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Yrkidding

TNPer
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In the corner, a radio quietly spoke to the room. The sports radio commentator was excited as the shootout went on, clearly on the edge of his seat. When Leblond scored the goal that ended the game, his disappointment was palpable through the airwaves.

But in the small apartment above his barbershop in Saint-Cyr, an old man breathed a sigh of relief. He dreaded the World Cup, especially if the Lancerians advanced deep into the competition. His shop was along a popular boulevard. Great for business, but it also meant that the celebration for wins could spill into the streets here. Big disorganized crowds, shouting and waving flags. Then there was the loud bangs from the one person or another who thought it was a good idea to bring fireworks and would shoot them up into the sky. It always brought him back.


He had been an idealist when he was young. Like many of his friends he had bold new ideas about his old home country. He saw injustice, a blatant disregard of civil rights, and segregation. It seemed all at once many people were finally seeing it too. They started voicing it, speaking it in the open, and the government started taking notice. He had helped his best friend spread the word, to set a date where groups across the country could march in the streets and demand better. The day came and the people came too, out of their homes and into the streets. Big disorganized crowds, shouting and waving flags. Then there was the loud bangs.

At first he wasn't sure what they were but they started multiplying and people started screaming. All at once the crowd became a stampede as they rushed away. He couldn't tell exactly what was at the front but he knew it must be the police or maybe the military. They were firing on the crowds! He remembered being pushed and shoved and heard a bullet whiz past his ear and hit someone right in front of him. He didn't have the time to even check if they were ok as they got trampled by the crowd. He wasn't sure he even wanted to know. He just joined the stream of people and ran as fast as he could.

As he reflected he felt a cold sweat and his hands were shaking. Every time the crowd gathered in the street it brought him back for what felt like hours and hours. It was why he had to close the shop every year. Even when he could mostly keep it together, his hands were the most difficult part for him to keep steady and he didn't want to risk injuring any of his customers.

He got up and switched off the radio, glad at least that tonight would be peaceful.
 

Andrenne

bastard
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The Way Forward
Skanda Advances to the Finals!

It would seem that Skanda really turned their luck around. The Wayfinders lost their first match but now they're finally there-- In the finals. Against the first team they faced this year, at that! Likely not a shock to most people; Saintonge, the host nation, made it to the end too, just like Goyanes (the host nation of the 2019 World Cup) did. They've been an incredibly strong team. Just like Skanda. They also won their last match with a penalty shootout. Also just like Skanda. It's an odd coincidence, especially since both nations have names beginning with an S. I'm sure the conspiracy theorists are having a fun time with it! The stakes are certainly high, and betting has been even. It could go either way. Knowing Skandan and Saintonian fans, they'll probably celebrate either way. Skandans are happy to even have the team in the finals, regardless if they win and lose. Winning would be fantastic, of course, but we won't see any hooligans causing trouble like after the 2019 World Cup.

It's really been quite a journey, and how fitting that it was a journey navigated by the Wayfinders. Skanda hasn't been in the finals for quite some time. The team was, unfortunately, pretty weak in the 90s. Subpar performances meant that Skanda rarely got past the Round of 16, or the Quarter-finals if they were lucky. Even if Skanda loses the match, this is the start of a much more dominant national Skandan team. It almost certainly won't be a one-time thing. A lot of people see this as a turnaround for Skanda's luck in general. The Republican Era was rough, to say the least. Things have been a lot better since 2017 though, and this seems to reflect the changes that occurred to the nation. It's refreshed and renewed, it's cleaned up everything that was holding it back. That's enough about politics though. The point is-- This is a new era for Skandan football.

What about Saintonge though? This isn't going to be an easy match. Everyone on both sides knows that. Saintonge and Skanda have had a number of bouts, even before this year. In 2019, their match ended in a draw, with Saintonge winning on penalties. This year, Saintonge took the first win in the opening match of the World Cup, but only after a difficult fight with the Wayfinders. This'll be quite a match, hopefully far more exciting than the Goyanes-Andrenne match in 2019. Saintonge and Skanda have had a tactic in common too: Unpredictability. We'll see how their tactics hold up against each other. Skanda's strong offense will be up against a tough defense. Likewise, Skanda's offense will be able to give Saintonge a run for it's money. If they can keep Saintonge on it's toes as much as possible, they might have a pretty good chance at winning this.

Author: Naru Akimori
October 18th, 2021
Kuhena, Skanda

Translated By: Yui Nakamura
 
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Andrenne

bastard
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The Guardian of the Goals
Shin Toyotomi: Who is He?

While many have attributed Skanda’s success to its great offense; and they’re very much right in doing so, it’s not as if Skanda has no defense. It’s done a great job too! It simply hasn’t been the focus of their play style this year. Shin Toyotomi has been an essential part of the team nonetheless. Affectionately referred to as “Toyoshi” by many fans, he’s done a phenomenal job. Sure, he faced some scrutiny in the opening game, but nobody is flawless and many hope that his experience against Saintonge in that match will mean he knows how to better defend the goal against them.

Who really is Toyoshi? Well, he’s usually the goalie of Kuhena FK, but he’s a lot more than a goalie. Toyoshi was born in 1995 in Meijo, a then small suburb of Saitō. He had a troubled childhood. His father walked out on his mother and she had to raise him and his sibilants along. It was tough, but his mother was always incredibly supportive and encouraged Toyoshi, who had loved football since he could walk, to join his elementary school’s football team. He wasn’t exactly a great academic, and he actually preformed very poorly in school, but playing football was his real gift and his high school coach saw that. He encouraged Toyoshi to study harder and ask for help, and Toyoshi ended up graduating with mostly flying colors barring mathematics. Still, he went to the University of Saitō on a scholarship, playing as the goalie on their soccer team, and was picked up by Kuhena in the 2015-2016 season. It was a bit of a weird time, but he performed extremely well, and gained his nickname in the following seasons. You’ll never guess what his major was— Psychology.

Toyoshi first debuted on the world stage in 2019’s World Cup, but was unfortunately injured after fracturing his collarbone in the 2nd game of the cup and had to be replaced. He got extremely good treatment of course, and this year has been stronger than ever, though he missed most of the 2020-2021 season. What does Toyoshi do when he’s not playing football you may ask? Well, usually he’s at home, watching baseball funnily enough. He prefers watching baseball over football because he finds it weird to watch a sport that you play professionally. He figures: Why watch it when you can go play it? When he’s not watching the old ball game, he’s usually practicing karaoke. No joke! He’s even released some of his karaoke on the internet for fun. Most fans say he’s a pretty good singer. We at AHK would have to review it ourselves to see if we agree.

Now for the most important question: What does “Toyoshi” mean? Nothing, actually. It’s just an amalgamation of Shin and Toyotomi. Toyoshi himself doesn’t really know why it popped up, but he doesn’t seem to mind. I’m sure he’ll let us know if he does, though.

Author: Michiru Satsuma
October 16th, 2021
Kuhena, Skanda

Translated By: Yui Nakamura
 
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Kyle

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L'Indépendant > Mercanti > Sports

Player Spotlight: Thibault-Ragnar Guttormsen

by Adrienne-Marie d'Orves in Saintes
17 October 2021 - 1420h

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Name: Thibault-Ragnar Guttormsen
Birthdate and birthplace: 15 June 1997, Coire (Haine)
Team: AJ St-Tobie de Coire
Position: Goalkeeper

Despite his foreign-sounding name, the only language that Thibault-Ragnar Guttormsen speaks fluently is Santonian. “I can understand Prydanian, but I speak it somewhat with an embarrassing accent, but good luck trying to make me read or write it,” Guttormsen said to the local news outfit Actualités Coiriennes, “I know how to say stuff, I use them, especially because I have Prydanian teammates.”

Guttormsen was born in the city of Coire, a city with longstanding Prydanian connections. Though half-Prydanian, he is a third-generation Santonian. “My grandfather Ragnar Guttormsen – who I’m named after – escaped the Fascist War in Prydania and came to Saintonge as a refugee.” Ragnar Guttormsen married a fellow Prydanian refugee as they were resettled in the eastern city of Coire. His father Kjell married a Santonian girl. “That means I’m just half-Prydanian, but people think I am full Prydanian, because I use my second name Ragnar.”

“Raggie” as his teammates call him, used to be AJST Coire’s backup goalkeeper. He was a Viking through and through, having been in the youth club of AJST Coire. He was eventually promoted to the senior team two years ago, with the looming retirement of AJST Coire’s regular goalkeeper Tristan Brutinaud. When Brutinaud retired last year, Guttormsen became the starting goalkeeper for the 2020-2021 Première Ligue season. He surprised observers by maintaining a clean sheet in 15 out of the team’s 38 games, one of the highest in the league. This attracted the attention of Coach Frédéric Janvion of the Santonian National Team, who put Guttormsen in the 2021 World Cup team. His audacious save at the 44th minute in the semifinal game against Lanceria became an internet meme. The ball hit his face and he suffered from a burst lip. “Raggie put his face on the line to save the country,” his AJ St-Tobie de Coire teammate and fellow Red Devil Thorbjörn Kjellander remarked after the game. Guttormsen took it lightly: “I could’ve saved my lip, but I can’t save my face if I let that goal in!”

translation by Jérôme-Caden Barceloux Colcolough
17 October 2021 - 1756h

 
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Kyle

Keep pounding.
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L'Indépendant > Mercanti > Sports

Player Spotlight: Druron Dangereaux

by Adrienne-Marie d'Orves in Saintes
18 October 2021 - 0829h

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Name: Druron Dangereaux
Birthdate and birthplace: 18 November 2001, Jamioulx (Argens)
Team: Stade de Saintes FC
Position: Forward

A play on his surname, “the Dangerous” is the epithet for Druron Dangereaux. It is also a testament to the dangerously and devilishly devious way that this Red Devil plays. He was responsible for a goal and another crucial assist in the quarterfinal game against Mintoria. A regular in the national team since last year’s Odinspyl, despite his youth, Dangereaux cannot be easily written off. He was one of the top scorers in the last Première Ligue season, and the top scorer in his club Stade de Saintes.

Dangereaux was born in the small town of Jamioulx, in the province of Artois, to a traveling salesman father and a kindergarten teacher mother. His unusual first name is because he was named after the patron saint of the town, Saint Drogo, who is also the patron saint of shepherds, coffee, and the ugly. A southerner from the same department like Brice-Baudouin Schaerlaekens, Dangereaux nevertheless grew up in Saintes, when at the age of five, he and his family moved to the capital because of his father’s job.

Dangereaux started playing football with other children from the Saintes housing complex where they lived in. His mother nurtured his skills and ambition, and used her connections within the schooling community to have her son attend football classes. At twelve, he was already being trained in Blondefontaine, Saintonge’s national football academy, where he trained to be two-footed – an asset for centre-forwards.

Stade de Saintes took him in as a youth player when he was fourteen, and was promoted to the senior team in the last Première Ligue season. The injury of Stade de Saintes forward Justin Cantalamessa meant that Druron Dangereaux had seen more playtime during the last season and propelled him to be one of the top scorers in the league. Already an Odinspyl goalscorer, he was capped again for this year’s World Cup in home soil.

translation by Jérôme-Caden Barceloux Colcolough
18 October 2021 - 1255h

 

Kyle

Keep pounding.
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L'Indépendant > Mercanti > Sports

“Miracle of Saintes”: Red Devils stage a massive comeback to win the World Cup trophy

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Santonian team celebrating the win.

by Gérard-Hugues Barbizet in Côme
19 October 2021 - 0455h

SAINTES – the Santonian Men’s National Football Team finally achieved what was thought to be unreachable for a long time: win the World Cup – at home soil at that. But not after Skanda gave them a roller coaster game and the fright and fight of their lives. Saintonge had to stage a dramatic comeback from behind to win massively, 6-3, in a packed Stade de Saintes, in the so-called “Miracle of Saintes”. They could ill-afford to embarrass themselves in front of the whole country, and in the end, they delivered in a rematch of the opening game of this World Cup, which Saintonge won 2-0.

Down in the first half
The Red Devils brought out the lineup that was effective in their opening game: Matthieu-Donatien Kerbriant, Tristan-Lambert Saint-Huile, and Kévin-Ardouin Cremillieux up front with Jonathan Jeandupeux, Thorbjörn Kjellander, Hugberg Steenstrup, and Brice-Baudouin Schaerlaekens supporting the midfield. But just as the Santonians prided themselves in unpredictability, so did the Skandans.

The night seemed to augur well when Saint-Huile snuck a goal in the 7th minute from a Jeandupeux diagonal pass. The home crowd roared in rapture as the Slick’s goal went in. However, the locals’ joy was short-lived: the Skandans equalised in a blistering attack in the 13th minute, foreshadowing and precipitating the collapse of the Santonian back rank. Steenstrup and Kjellander rushed to the back to support the defence, but a miscommunication between Steenstrup and the much older Charles-Adam Witz in the 27th minute allowed Skanda to take the lead. Saintonge conceded one more goal in the 40th minute as the overworked Santonian goalkeeper Bruno-Patrice Cuisance struggled to save the game for Saintonge, much to the dismay (and some say, anger) of the fans. Cuisance was replaced with Folc Thauvin on the 43rd minute, but even the more energetic Thauvin was besieged. It was clear that the Santonian defence had to be reworked to stop the pressure on the goalkeepers. By the time the first half was over, Saintonge was down 1-3.

Revamp
Coach Frédéric Janvion only had two more substitutions left, and he revamped the back rank at the start of the second half. He replaced Witz, who was having communication issues with the younger players, with Timothée Chiarisoli, who had better working relationship with his fellow innovative teammates. Coach Janvion then made what seemed to be a losing gamble: he sacrificed a striker for a defender, replacing Cremillieux with the solid left back Brice-Maximin Grimont, shifting to a 4-4-2 formation. The last time Saintonge did this was in the semifinal against Lanceria, where the Santonians were unable to score after shifting to a more defensive stance. Grimont was now also forced to play as a fullback because of the presence of fellow left back Florian Blaquart.

After a harrowing first few minutes where Thauvin had to save two more Skandan attempts at goals, the Santonian defence gelled together. Brooking no more attacks on Thauvin’s position, Grimont and Chiarisoli – the so-called “Predicean Wall” – endeavoured to bring the ball to the Skandan side. Thauvin only had to save two more shots in the next forty minutes.

Comeback
Then came the comeback: five goals in forty minutes. After recovering the ball from the back, Chiarisoli drove it forward directly to Saint-Huile as Kjellander and Steenstrup blocked all Skandan attempts to steal. Saint-Huile, true to his nickname ‘the Slick’, deftly played with the ball to mask his intentions. After making a feint to Schaerlaekens on the right, who was moving forward and filling the gap Cremillieux had left, the Slick suddenly passed it not to fellow striker Kerbriant, who had two Skandan defenders tagging him. Instead, the Slick sent it to Jeandupeux further deep into the left, who curled the ball into the net on the 58th minute.

The equaliser came exactly ten minutes later, when Kjellander, Steenstrup, and Schaerlaekens seemed to be unsure on the line of attack, passing the ball back and forth between them. The crowd was getting agitated from the lack of action. And then out of the blue, Kjellander unexpectedly slammed it into the net with great speed that the ball passed underneath the diving Skandan goalkeeper. The home crowd went from impatient to overjoyed: Saintonge now had a chance.

With the score tied, the Skandans went on an overdrive in attacking. The Santonian midfielders dived onto their defence, assisting the multitasking defenders. Jeandupeux and Blaquart took the pressure off Grimont, allowing Chiarisoli to pass the ball to him. Jeandupeux and Chiarisoli helped repulse attempts to steal the ball from Grimont, and the indefatigable Grimont drove it to the Skandan half. Fully expecting that the defender Grimont will make a pass to the forwards Kerbriant or Saint-Huile, and noticing that a Skandan midfielder about to tag him, Grimont lobbed the ball, sending it flying over the heads of the Skandan defender and the goalkeeper. It hit the crossbar and then went into the net, amidst the rapturous applause by the home crowd. With Grimont’s 77th minute goal, Saintonge now had a lead.

But the Santonians were not done. In 83rd minute, Saint-Huile was being harried by two Skandan defenders eager to bring back the ball to the Santonian side. Saint-Huile returned the ball back to the midfield, to the unmarked Hugberg Steenstrup, who promptly headed it in. The score was now 5-3 in favour of Saintonge, unassailable given the time left.

The Red Devil Schaerlaekens had one more trick though. At injury time, the Skandan defenders had just stolen the ball from Saint-Huile. The defender lobbed the ball back to their midfielders, but Schaerlaekens intercepted the ball up in the air with a stunning bicycle kick, sending the ball into the net just seconds before the referee blew his whistle, ending the exciting game 6-3.

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Schaerlaekens' last-minute bicycle kick.

Rapture
The stadium erupted in applause as Saintonge won its second World Cup after a drought, and the second time in a row that the World Cup was won by the host country. This was first time in a decade that Saintonge had reached the finals of the World Cup, and they had won it. The Santonian Royal Family were also pictured celebrating in the stands as the Santonian team hugged each other on the pitch.

In the post-game press conference, the team was effusive but humble about their win.

“We’ve had a fair share of challenging teams – Lanceria, Aydin, Skanda, Mintoria, for example,” said vice-captain Jeandupeux, “they all played really well and I salute them. They made us work really hard for this.”

“When we said we’re going to double Saintonge’s World Cups,” Kjellander quipped, “we meant it.”

“We saw great teamwork today, and in the previous matches,” remarked Saint-Huile, “Teamwork is what brought Saintonge to this point.”

“What a comeback!” Reserve goalkeeper Thibault-Ragnar Guttormsen exclaimed. “From down two goals to winning by three. Just shows that as long as you don’t quit and you keep doing your best, you can still win. My face is happy.”

Observers and journalists noted that the majority-young team had worked well together. A journalist asked the usually feisty team captain Timothée-Justin "T.J." Descoteaux, who had played in just one game, whether he thinks he was sidelined and whether it was time for a new generation. Saint-Huile, who knew how hotheaded Descoteaux can be after playing with him all these years, had to stop the journalist from piling more inflammatory questions. Instead Descoteaux smiled: “We know now what works, and if it’s time for me to step aside, I will do that. I see the future of Santonian football here, in this team. I’m just happy that I get to lift the trophy with them, something that is every footballer’s dream.”

The normally taciturn Grimont puzzled journalists as the press directed questions at him as the person who put Saintonge in the lead. “I did not put Saintonge in the lead,” Grimont said. “I merely made the fourth point.” His new friend Chiarisoli had to translate Grimont’s statement: “I think what Max says is that without the previous three points, he wouldn’t be able to make the crucial fourth point.”

Descoteaux also alluded to friendships in his answer to another journalist’s question. “I’m 31, Charles is 33, sometimes we don’t know what these young ‘uns are talking about! They’ve got real camaraderie.” Steenstrup, Jeandupeux, Dangereaux, and Schaerlaekens are known to be friends from since the Odinspyl 2020 team. Their circle had since been expanded with Kjellander, Chiarisoli, Grimont, and Benjamin-Timothée Röthlisberger, despite their teams being rivals in the Première Ligue. “The team atmosphere is just so good,” commented Cremillieux, who is 21.

“We’ve also made more good friends from the other teams who came to visit our country,” said Steenstrup, who is known to be friends with some members of the Prydanian football team. “I hope they liked it here.”

“In the end, it is the other teams that we would like to thank for being such good sports and for playing their best,” Jeandupeux said. “We hope to see each other in the next tournaments, on the pitch for some good games and off the pitch for some good times.”

Santonian Team
Starters
GK 1 Bruno-Patrice Cuisance ↓43’
RB 2 Albéric Barreau
CB 3 Charles-Adam Witz ↓46’
LB 4 Florian Blaquart
RM 10 Brice-Baudouin Schaerlaekens
CM 6 Thorbjörn Kjellander
CM 8 Hugberg Steenstrup
LM 5 Jonathan Jeandupeux
RW 18 Matthieu-Donatien Kerbriant
CF 9 Tristan-Lambert Saint-Huile
LW 7 Kévin-Ardouin Cremillieux ↓46’
Substitutions
GK 12 Folc Thauvin ↑43’
CB 14 Timothée Chiarisoli ↑46’
LB 15 Brice-Maximin Grimont ↑46’

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translation by Hunter Kidlington de Collobrières
19 October 2021 - 0752h


OOC Note: Post approved by @Andrenne .
 
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